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Companies merge every day. Maybe it's time for countries to do the same, voluntarily. For the sake of discussion, let's say the two countries are the United States and China.

Obviously there are too many obstacles, all psychological, to ever allow this to happen. But it makes me wonder what the benefits could be if it happened.

You could start the discussion by imagining that the U.S. and China would maintain their own leaders and laws much the way a state has a governor and its own local ordinances. The new unified Super Government would only deal with the big issues of global security, trade, and accelerating the benefits of leveraging the resources of both countries.

The Super Government would probably need to be made of equal members from the U.S. and China, and require a 75% majority for any decisions. That limits any actions to things clearly benefitting both groups.

The first obvious benefit to this arrangement is that you wouldn't point nukes at your own nation. Second, international trade negotiations would be easier. Few countries could afford to piss off both the U.S. and China. And I am assuming there could be substantial benefits to closer economic and environmental cooperation.

You could argue that the U.S. and China can already get those benefits by agreeing to any actions that are in their mutual interest. But there is something about being labeled the same country that makes agreement more likely. For example, I know that some states in the U.S. get a bigger piece of the federal spending pie, but I'm not bothered because somehow it's all in the family.

Maybe a U.S. and China merger allows for an elegant solution to the Taiwan situation. Toss Taiwan into the merger, giving them one or two representatives in the Super Government, and a veto over any decision directly affecting their people. On one hand it's effectively no change at all, while on the other hand the leaders of China could say they unified Taiwan with China. Ta-da!

You can find lots of reasons why a merger among very different nations wouldn't work. That's no challenge. The fun part is that this thought experiment demonstrates how much we sacrifice to the limitations of human psychology. When you define some other group as part of your own, everything changes while nothing changes.
 
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Apr 23, 2009
I read the rest of these comments, and what is missing from all of them (unless I misread them[i.e. am a total P.H.B.]) is that you're speaking of imperialism. As far as I can tell, it hasn't worked out so well for Persia, Greece, Italy, British Guinea, El Salvador, the Phillipines, any African nation, Columbia, Panama, Grenada, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, the Czech Republic (or Czechoslovakia[?]), or most nations. We only invite the one power with a lot of power because of natural resources or the ability to blow the $#!* out of the other to abuse the relationship (which the USA has admittedly been prone to).

I'm sure my comments amount to the drunken rambling that accompanies those that work graveyard shifts. Enjoy the mockery.

TJF
 
 
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Apr 23, 2009
There's a fundamental difference between companies and countries (Democratic ones not Demon-ocratic) and that is the power and perks flow from the top in the case of company and in case of countries it moves bottom up. Any effort to treat them same and run one the way other is run is bound to meet with doom! Tried in my own limited way to draw out differences there in my blog - Trust it explains atleast a part of the paradox.

http://ivak99.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/art-of-aligning-the-mantra-of-survival/
 
 
Apr 22, 2009
Scott, your example of the United States and China merging to form a Super Government is interesting, but completely unrealistic. Canada would never allow such a merger.

As revealed in these pages a month or so ago, for the first time anywhere, Canada is (quietly and respectfully) determined to acquire the United States of America as recreational property. Nothing will stop us. Resistance is futile.

Webster
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2009
While this kind of a merger would benefit those two countries in theory, we can barely maintain our own country. Honestly, the only benefit I see is that we would finally have an excuse for having too many people.

Also, @ Andrew84003:

Having one unified country is NOT a good idea, at least not until we eliminate our major problems. If nothing else, we need to abolish currency and return to barter. Now is the perfect time to make the switch, as the "Rich" seem to rule our lives with little pieces of paper and metal. It'd be a simple process: "You can keep your 'money,' we'll be over here trading technologies and services to benefit everyone."

The only real hard part is getting enough people to agree to it. Here's a good hint, though, avoid rich people and republicans. There are a few good eggs among them, but not enough to chance it.
 
 
Apr 22, 2009
i personally think that all the countries should merge and form just one country. this super country would be named after the super continent pangea. this would make world peace more possible and things would be a lot more like star trek and star wars where the entire planet is unified!
 
 
Apr 22, 2009
The real merger should be the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Then we would truly be the United States of (North) America.
 
 
Apr 22, 2009
Imagine a Global Citizenship
U are thinking on wrong lines here
rather try and take this in perspective .
Why not merge the core elements that form these countries. Merge people from both sides.
i walked along this thought process sometime back of having something on the lines of
a "Global Citizenship".

The single biggest advantage of global citizenship is the complete free movement of people.
the more u get everyone to mix together the lesser the lines of differences remain.
they will reverberate together and settle down on some form of mixed cultural society, but surely something that
has adapted to coexist.

Lets see what higher advantages this merger brings forth
for example we have a global citizenship between America and China.

Think economic policies
currently these are all fallacious, based on the assumption of being favourable only to America or to China ----- and their people(supposedly), by their respective governments.
with the global citizenship you no longer have your people on one side of the boundary.
This will force both governments to implement real economic policies. something that improves the economic structure, takes it forward and is not based on false pretext of protecting your people.

The same is true for law enforcement agencies,
for human rights ...others.

So in effect you live in New York today , but have to right to move to Bejing just as you have the right to for say Ohio. Ofcourse when you move in to a new state you abide by the rules of the sate, be it law , economis, whatever.
Plus we can throw in some rules to protect state resources from depleting or draining as a cause of people movement.

Unneeded to say this reduces the risk of pointing nukes at each other.
cause u no longer have the definition of "your" people anymore.

ofcourse it is not as easy as it sounds. you cannot except every country tomorrow to implement true global citizenship.
we can have a solution to this using a tier system. we go about doing this contenent wise.
So the Asian continent goes about getting a global citizenship for all of the Asian countries.
So does Europe , Africa and America. This has obvious advantages.
Once done and we have allowed the citizens and culture to settle and take shape(read a few years) we extend this cross continent
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2009
The major problem is: What will we call this new Super-Duper-Power? AmeriChina? ChinMerica? ASUCR-American States United with Chinese Republic? Nothing has a good ring to it, and if you can't make one of those cutesy couple names, the two aren't detined to stay together long. that's why "Brangelina" are still going strong long after Brad Pitt broke up with Jennifer Anniston - because Pittifer and Branniston just didn't sound right. (Sorry, Jennifer. But if you're reading this, please call me.)
 
 
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Apr 21, 2009
I think we should merge with Mexico.

Oh, wait...They're already over here!
 
 
Apr 21, 2009
>>"You could start the discussion by imagining that the U.S. and China would maintain their own leaders and laws much the way a state has a governor and its own local ordinances. The new unified Super Government would only deal with the big issues of global security, trade, and accelerating the benefits of leveraging the resources of both countries."

This is a perfect description of how the founding fathers envisioned our federal government. Indeed, if you read the constitution, that's the type of super-government defined. Amazing how things change, 222 years later, as we're bailing out auto-makers.
 
 
Apr 21, 2009
gargamel9,

i tend to agree with your hopeless view of racism. being above it is order, entropy tends towards fullblown genocide though.

WASP are egocentric enough to believe that if they can stop being racist, others can too. is that logical? i think that without education and selfrestraint, individuals (of all races) only believe in racial equality because it currently benefits them. in the dark recesses of their hearts, american minorities resonate with mooney the comedian, michelle obama, and rev wright.
 
 
Apr 21, 2009
Stop watching Firefly, Scott.
 
 
Apr 21, 2009
Mergers between people happen every day too, except they are called marriages. People with a little in common and a lot of differences who feel that things will change once they are married and everything will be fine. The divorce rate has passed 50%, so why are people still getting married? The same reasons you would have a merger, tax breaks. Of course there is how good things looked up front, you know, the paperwork, you had heard good things, but have you put all of those people in the same office building/house to sort things out for themselves. Each person sees themselves as in charge of the relationship, or letting the other person feel like they are in charge, or, you bought our stocks, but we let you buy our stocks. You don't get along with her friends, she doesn't get along with yours, she doesn't like your human rights violations, and you don't like her inbred hillbillies carrying guns.

So, why do mergers/marriages work? That's a darn good question, and it can all be summed up with the 3 C's. Committment, Compromise, and Connections.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 21, 2009
Merging territories has always been the american way, Hawaii and Alaska where the last to merge did they? I see China far away from merging, but if the Federal Goverment really open up a policy to invite more territories, the Carribian and the rest of America could find some interest. Of course Puerto Rico would be first (or last... they have a sweet deal right now), but Panama and El Salvador that already have the dollar as runnig currency could be interested, aswell as the rest of Central America and the Carribean with the remitances issues, specially if it woud take care of all the illegal alien status stuff that is going on right. The U.S. Federal infrastructure would also be of great help to bring order and credibility to these goverments and give them some rise economicaly, similar to what happend in Spain with the EU.
 
 
Apr 21, 2009
That means we can soon start cussin' in Chinese ("Firefly") and eating noodles ("Battlestar Gallactica").

 
 
Apr 20, 2009
The only thing needed for governments to merge is a common enemy. Nothing unites disinterested parties better than a common foe. Besides; without a common enemy the merging of military forces would reduce the need for said forces (unless they're uniting to combat a larger "evil"). If the military forces aren't needed, then the governments aren't needed either.
 
 
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Apr 20, 2009
lolz, this is your funniest joke yet Scott. Keep up the good work.
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 20, 2009
@KevinKunreuther

nice ideas but your grammar is atrocious, today, what happened?

BTW, I think an India-China hegemony is more likely than a US-China. US best bet is to buddy up with Canada, Mexico and Brazil and start acting like a partner, instead of bullying patronizing big brother
 
 
Apr 20, 2009
I think China and India would be more amenable to such a union. Along with Brazil, they may hijack the IMF and render US, EU and Russia as second rate financial powers, and start dictating policy to the rest.
 
 
Apr 20, 2009
This is right up there with trying to split California into two or more states or Texas succeeding. Ain't gonna happen. But the merger of US and China could lead to a speedier execution of federally convicted murders. Chinese capital punishment style would provide a bullet to the brain of Timothy McVeigh types within hours of the one short court appeal.

 
 
 
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